What would a Wentz & Ertz trade to the Colts look like for the Eagles?

NFL: SEP 27 Bengals at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz (86) and Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz (11) walk off together after the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles on September 27, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

While the Carson Wentz trade talks are beginning to slow down, a new name has been thrown into the mix. The idea of a team acquiring both the franchise QB and his favorite target, TE Zach Ertz, makes plenty of sense. According to Sports Illustrated’s Ed Kracz, the Colts are one team to have enquired about a prospective trade, but how would it impact the compensation that the Eagles would receive?

Why the Colts?

There aren’t many teams who could realistically take on both the $12.4M cap hit of Zach Ertz and what could be a $25M punch to the gut for Carson Wentz. The Indianapolis Colts are one of those teams and not only are they swimming in cap space, but they have a very obvious link.

Colts Head Coach Frank Reich coordinated the Eagles offense in 2016 and 2017. While we often look back at Reich’s tenure and look at how good Carson Wentz was under his guidance, let’s not forget Ertz set a career-high in yards per reception (11.2) and TD’s (8) in 2017 as well, shortly before a year in which Wentz was criticized by an anonymous source for targeting the Stanford product too much.

At quarterback, Phillip Rivers has decided to hang up his cleats for good, leaving Indy with an obvious need to find the face of their franchise for the beginning of what’s promising to be a very exciting new era.

The man who led Indy TE’s in receiving last year, Mo Allie-Cox, is set to be a free agent, alongside former Eagle Trey Burton. Depth behind Jack Doyle is worryingly thin.

While Ertz and Wentz clearly regressed in 2020, bringing in a combination that ripped up the NFL under Reich’s watch would make plenty of sense here. Ertz may not be the player he once was and is now 30-years-old, while Carson Wentz clearly has a long way back on his road to redemption, but if there is ever a franchise that can accommodate both players and begin to rebuild what was savagely ripped apart in 2020, it’s the Colts.

Knowing they can get out of Wentz’s deal next year and that Zach Ertz would technically be a free agent after next season anyway, the immediate cap hit shouldn’t scare Chris Ballard as much as it would other GM’s in the league.

Colts cooling on Wentz?

To speculate on what a potential deal may look like, we have to first understand what’s already been offered. According to former Eagles QB Ron Jaworski, the Colts have offered a pair of second-round picks with a conditional mid-round pick down the line.

The Eagles, by all accounts, are playing hard to get and angering teams in the process, but it’s understandable. Both the Bears and the Colts need a franchise QB and neither is in a position to land one in the NFL Draft. If they want Carson Wentz, Howie Roseman is making sure that they’re the ones chasing, not the other way round, as he should do.

Potential trade:

By throwing Ertz into the deal as a sweetener, the aim would be simple – turning a pair of second-round picks into a 2021 first-rounder. The team is reportedly yet to be offered a first-round pick for Wentz and surely the addition of a tight end who has broken every record there is to break in Philadelphia could boost their chances.

It’s easy to view this kind of deal and assume the team giving up two extremely talented players is the one getting fleeced, but this is not a market in which the Eagles hold the monopoly. Zach Ertz has all but said his goodbyes in Philadelphia and the value of Carson Wentz inside the NovaCare Complex is clearly larger than it is outside of it. There has to be a sense of meeting in the middle here and both GM’s are smart enough to do that.

Would the Eagles be able to extract a future second-rounder or conditional mid-rounder as well, who knows? But if the Eagles were able to throw in a pick of their own, that could be enough to seal deal.

Eagles send: QB Carson Wentz, TE Zach Ertz, 2020 fifth-round pick
Colts send: 2021 first-round pick (#21), 2022 third-round pick

Would you pull the trigger?

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire